Books and cars may not seem like an obvious pairing, but the two have more in common than you might think. A well-written book and an expertly-built car can be objects of beauty to behold, and they both can transport their users to distant locales, in their own way.
Of course, car lovers would likely rather drive a car than read about one. But you can only experience one car at a time that way — and unless you have a cavernous warehouse of a dream garage, your selection of four-wheeled transportation available to play with is probably capped at one or two options. There’ll always be new cars, new roads, new experiences just out of reach.
A good coffee table book, however, can be a literary remedy for your mechanical conundrum. Here, then, are some of the best modern coffee table books for car lovers: packed cover to cover with insider information and filled to the brim with stunning photography, letting you fawn over and appreciate vehicles of all kinds from all across the globe.
Speed Read Supercar: The History, Technology and Design Behind the World’s Most Exciting Cars
Only a minuscule percentage of the population has regular access to supercars — and while that adds to their mystique, it also keeps the engineering marvels out of reach of many of their their biggest admirers. Speed Read Supercar: The History, Technology and Design Behind the World’s Most Exciting Cars, penned by veteran automotive journalist Basem Wasef, puts the lofty thoroughbreds in the hands of the masses with a deep dive into supercar history and culture, providing explanations about why they exist and the creative decisions that went into their designs and mechanical makeup.
Speed, Style, and Beauty
Not many people around the world can boast about having dozens of cars cars in their personal collection, and even fewer people put said car collections on display. Ralph Lauren, however, is one of those few. Speed, Style, and Beauty is 210 pages of full-page photographs depicting 29 automotive legends hand-picked by Ralph Lauren’s from his personal collection. Highlights include a 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia and the iconic beauty that is the 1938 Bugatti Atlantic Coupe, as well as stunners from Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche.
Drive Time: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles and Racing
It might not be a book focused on the automobile per se, but Drive Time: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles and Racing celebrates the iconic timepieces that have the strongest relationships to the automotive world. Culture, inspiration, design — any aspect that connects the watch and car worlds is fair game for Drive Time.
The Impossible Collection of Cars
The title pretty much says it all. The Impossible Collection of Cars is a collection of 100 of the most significant cars from the 20th Century, or, as the title suggests, an unbelievable group of machines never seen all in one place at the same time. You know, aside from the pages of this book.
Ferrari Book by Pino Allievi
Old man Enzo Ferrari didn’t mince words, especially about putting more emphasis on what was under the hood of his cars than the surrounding sheet metal. “I build engines and attach wheels to them,” he once said. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t fawn over the rolling Italian artwork that came out of the Maranello factory — and that’s exactly what Ferrari Book by Pino Allievi is meant for. Not only does the book catalog and celebrate every Ferrari ever made, but it does so in spectacular fashion, coming in an aluminum case designed to emulate the company’s iconic Testa Rossa valve covers. The $6,000 price tag is definitely worth a mention — but then again, this is the Ferrari of coffee table books.